How to make the fear of heights disappear: 5 tips
Fear of heights is a psychological phenomenon that, in most cases, is useful. Thanks to him we avoid putting ourselves in situations of danger that imply being on the edge of a precipice. D this way, without the need to stop and reflect if it is a good idea to stand on a balcony without a railing or next to a deep ravine, simply obey the feeling of fear and reduce our chances of dying a lot.
However, in some cases the fear of heights becomes so intense that it manifests itself strongly in contexts in which there is no real danger of dying or being injured by a fall . In these cases it becomes a problem, and more so if it is so serious that it becomes a phobia. When this happens, we must intervene.
In this article we will see several tips on how to make the fear of heights disappear , or at least mitigate its effects so that it ceases to be a problem.
- Related article: "How to overcome the fear of flying, in 5 easy steps"
First question: should I go to the psychologist?
To begin with, it is important to consider that, like many other phenomena and psychological traits, the fear of heights can occur in different intensities. When your level is relatively low or moderate, it is possible to make progress on your own, without the help of other people. However, if that fear becomes very extreme and the level of anxiety is so high that control is totally lost, it is necessary to go to a mental health professional to receive psychotherapy.
Fortunately, Phobias are disorders that in the majority of cases they can remit until their effects are so low that they do not interfere more in the quality of life of the person.
Of course, the line that separates fears from phobias (pathological fears) is diffuse, and that is why it is necessary that is a professional who makes the diagnosis, and not yourself .
That said, let's see what are the tips to overcome the fear of heights in case the level of anxiety and fear manifested is not very extreme.
- Maybe you're interested: "Types of phobias: exploring the disorders of fear"
How to overcome fear of heights
Follow these steps adapting them to the characteristics of your life and your day to day.
1. Speak without complexes about your problem
This is a first step to be able to face the fear of heights. Doing this lets get rid of the extra worry of giving bad image if there is someone close to you when you enter a crisis of this type. In addition, it has the obvious utility that other people can help you, for example, so you can have support when you feel bad for this reason.
2. Establish a reasonable distance
In this step, you must imagine places where there is a precipice and establish, also in your imagination, which is the threshold that separates the really dangerous zone from the one that is not.
Doing this repeatedly will help you solve the uncertainty of not being clear when fear is justified and when it is not, and you will generalize this spatial criterion to many other real or imagined situations in which there is a precipice.
3. Assume that emotions do not obey logic
If you read and inform yourself about the way in which mental processes are relatively independent of the rational ones, you will not feel guilty for feeling anxiety when you are near a rich man, a large window, etc. Overcoming the fear of heights is, therefore, a task in which you have to tame part of the nervous system of oneself , so that it adjusts to rationality; it is, in a certain sense, a challenge.
4. View images that convey security
It is good to start to get used to the idea that most of the times in which people approach precipices and similar, nothing bad happens. For it, resort to visualization and imagine many people quietly approaching a precipice , keeping a safe distance and trusting the handrails (if any).
Then, imagine that you imitate those people. The good thing about these scenes is that they are realistic, because they fit with what we usually see in real life, although normally in those contexts anxiety is invading us.
5. Extend to the heights
This is the decisive step to definitely overcome the heights, but you must do it with help. On your first attempt, propose to go a little beyond the limit you usually respect to avoid suffering too much from fear, and stay there for a few minutes.
In the second, go a little further. In this way you will progress little by little, assuming a curve of ascending difficulty and ending in a degree of proximity to the cliff that can be considered a reasonable margin from the criterion of safety.On the other hand, if you have access to virtual reality technologies, such as the VR system of video games, you can also use it to expose you to precipices that are not real, although they are very realistic.